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February 20, 2019

A Toothy Lesson

By Denise Boehm

Second graders wow kindergarteners with a lesson on dental health.

Grades 1–2

    Need a great way to teach kids about dental health? Let them teach the topic — to a group of kindergarteners.

    That’s what I did with my February issue of Scholastic News for grade  2.

    We Read the Issue

    After enjoying the accompanying dental health video and vocabulary slideshow, we read the issue. My second graders loved the issue’s fun question-and-answer format. Here's one example:

    Question: Should I try to pull my loose tooth out?

    (Just about every kid in my class has a wiggly tooth at the moment, so this topic was incredibly relevant!)

    Answer: Yes! If they stay in your mouth too long, germs and food get trapped under them.

    Most of the information was new to my students, and they were really interested.

    We Planned a Lesson for Kindergarteners!

    Then it was time to share the information we learned. Our audience included two kindergarten classes.

    This is how we did it:

    1. I listed the questions from the issue on the board.
    2. Students paired up based on interest in the issue’s topics. Then they became experts on their topics.
    3. Each pair had to come up with a lesson that included a visual aide and something interactive. We talked about ideas as a class.
    4. I worked with each group to make sure their idea was appropriate for kindergarteners.

    It was amazing to see how they’ve internalized all of the different ways they’ve seen lessons presented to them throughout the year!

    We Taught the Lesson!

    • Two boys created a center activity for the kindergarteners to correctly group foods that are healthy and unhealthy choices for their teeth. (These two boys just lit up in front of the little kids. I even sent a note home to their parents because I was so impressed with their patience with the k-kids.)
    • Another group of students created a poster with a big toothy grin. If a kindergarten friend could correctly answer one of their questions, they were invited up to color one of the teeth.
    • One group led a similar activity where the little kids were invited up to find a tooth hidden in a picture and cover it with a sticker if they answered a question correctly. 
    • For the topic of X-rays, one pair of students created a chant with body movements to explain that X-rays are a picture of what’s inside of you! (After my kids presented, the kindergarteners asked if they could do it again. Later we passed them in the hallway and a couple of them started to do the motions to “an X-ray is a picture of the inside of you!” Darn adorable.)

    What a Success!

    I was shocked at how well the k-kids responded to my students. They loved coming up and interacting with the activities. One kindergarten teacher even remarked that she has a hard time getting one of the kids to talk in front of the class but he opened right up to my boys!  

    The kindergarten teacher came to my room later to tell my kids how much her students learned and invited us to come back for another lesson.  

    Beyond cementing their own knowledge of the content, my kids really saw a new side of themselves while creating their activities and presenting. They’ve already asked me when we’re going to do it again.  

    We will! And I encourage you to give this a try.

    Here are more ideas:

    • Use the vocabulary slideshow as a model and have your students create their own slides for the bold words in this issue. They can do this digitally or on paper. Then group all of their work together and create a class project.
    • Take this opportunity to deal with wiggly teeth once and for all! Have volunteers act out what to do in scenarios that you present. Some examples: Show me what to do if you bite into your lunch and your tooth falls out. Pretend you are a grown-up and a little kid tells you their tooth is very wiggly.   
    • Give each student a blank envelope and have them address it to the Tooth Fairy. This is a great way to practice addressing an envelope. They can even create a special stamp! Alternatively, they can just decorate the envelope with messages of congratulations for losing a tooth! Keep these envelopes nearby and the next time a student loses a tooth, use it to send the tooth home safely!

    If you’re looking to put a smile on your students’ faces, try Scholastic News in your classroom. You’ll get a year of unique stories, videos and activities created just for grade two. And if your students are anything like mine, they’re going to love reading each issue and sharing what they've learned with their friends, families, and maybe even a class of kindergarteners!

     

    — Denise Boehm teaches second grade in Florida. She also writes the blog Sunny Days in Second Grade.

    Need a great way to teach kids about dental health? Let them teach the topic — to a group of kindergarteners.

    That’s what I did with my February issue of Scholastic News for grade  2.

    We Read the Issue

    After enjoying the accompanying dental health video and vocabulary slideshow, we read the issue. My second graders loved the issue’s fun question-and-answer format. Here's one example:

    Question: Should I try to pull my loose tooth out?

    (Just about every kid in my class has a wiggly tooth at the moment, so this topic was incredibly relevant!)

    Answer: Yes! If they stay in your mouth too long, germs and food get trapped under them.

    Most of the information was new to my students, and they were really interested.

    We Planned a Lesson for Kindergarteners!

    Then it was time to share the information we learned. Our audience included two kindergarten classes.

    This is how we did it:

    1. I listed the questions from the issue on the board.
    2. Students paired up based on interest in the issue’s topics. Then they became experts on their topics.
    3. Each pair had to come up with a lesson that included a visual aide and something interactive. We talked about ideas as a class.
    4. I worked with each group to make sure their idea was appropriate for kindergarteners.

    It was amazing to see how they’ve internalized all of the different ways they’ve seen lessons presented to them throughout the year!

    We Taught the Lesson!

    • Two boys created a center activity for the kindergarteners to correctly group foods that are healthy and unhealthy choices for their teeth. (These two boys just lit up in front of the little kids. I even sent a note home to their parents because I was so impressed with their patience with the k-kids.)
    • Another group of students created a poster with a big toothy grin. If a kindergarten friend could correctly answer one of their questions, they were invited up to color one of the teeth.
    • One group led a similar activity where the little kids were invited up to find a tooth hidden in a picture and cover it with a sticker if they answered a question correctly. 
    • For the topic of X-rays, one pair of students created a chant with body movements to explain that X-rays are a picture of what’s inside of you! (After my kids presented, the kindergarteners asked if they could do it again. Later we passed them in the hallway and a couple of them started to do the motions to “an X-ray is a picture of the inside of you!” Darn adorable.)

    What a Success!

    I was shocked at how well the k-kids responded to my students. They loved coming up and interacting with the activities. One kindergarten teacher even remarked that she has a hard time getting one of the kids to talk in front of the class but he opened right up to my boys!  

    The kindergarten teacher came to my room later to tell my kids how much her students learned and invited us to come back for another lesson.  

    Beyond cementing their own knowledge of the content, my kids really saw a new side of themselves while creating their activities and presenting. They’ve already asked me when we’re going to do it again.  

    We will! And I encourage you to give this a try.

    Here are more ideas:

    • Use the vocabulary slideshow as a model and have your students create their own slides for the bold words in this issue. They can do this digitally or on paper. Then group all of their work together and create a class project.
    • Take this opportunity to deal with wiggly teeth once and for all! Have volunteers act out what to do in scenarios that you present. Some examples: Show me what to do if you bite into your lunch and your tooth falls out. Pretend you are a grown-up and a little kid tells you their tooth is very wiggly.   
    • Give each student a blank envelope and have them address it to the Tooth Fairy. This is a great way to practice addressing an envelope. They can even create a special stamp! Alternatively, they can just decorate the envelope with messages of congratulations for losing a tooth! Keep these envelopes nearby and the next time a student loses a tooth, use it to send the tooth home safely!

    If you’re looking to put a smile on your students’ faces, try Scholastic News in your classroom. You’ll get a year of unique stories, videos and activities created just for grade two. And if your students are anything like mine, they’re going to love reading each issue and sharing what they've learned with their friends, families, and maybe even a class of kindergarteners!

     

    — Denise Boehm teaches second grade in Florida. She also writes the blog Sunny Days in Second Grade.

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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